Friday, December 29, 2017

Grand Hotel Summer Celebration

We've had some wonderful summer vacations staying at the Grand Hotel on Michigan's Mackinac Island.  This quaint island lies in a spot where three of North America's Great Lakes (Huron, Michigan, Superior) merge creating a strait that divides Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.  Maintaining a rustic charm, motor vehicles aren't allowed on the island which features a village filled with 19th century architecture bookended by a magnificent hotel built in 1887 and a historic military fort built in 1781.  Riding in a horse drawn carriage, nature trail hikes, biking around the island, eating freshly made fudge, and exploring Fort Mackinac are some highlights of a visit ... as well as a stay at the Grand Hotel.

On a frigid winter day discovering Hudsonville Ice Cream's Grand Hotel Summer Celebration at the grocery store brought back warm memories of our family's past vacations there.  Inspired by the United States flags that fly from the world's largest porch that is part of the Grand Hotel this ice cream has a color palette of red, white and blue.  The coloring also reflects the flowery and pastel patterns that decorate this historic hotel that prides itself on providing guests a stay that transports them back to a bygone era.

Grand Hotel Summer Celebration combines Hudsonville vanilla ice cream with raspberry and blueberry sherbet.  A taste of this ice cream provides the type of delicacy reminiscent of a desert served in the stately Grand Hotel dining room staffed with white gloved, suit jacket wearing waiters that make guests feel like royalty.  Plus a taste of this Grand Hotel inspired ice cream brings back memories of feeling a cool breeze during our visits come across the island from the Mackinac Straits on a hot summer day.

The Grand Hotel was built at a time before air conditioning when city dwellers fled to far off resorts by railroads and steamships from urban areas to escape the hot summer heat.  Mackinac Island known for its cooling breezes coming off the surrounding lake water was the perfect location for the Grand Hotel during those times and it is still a great place to stay. This historic hotel has been a family owned business for three generations with a focus on maintaining sense of escapism and luxury from more than a 100 years ago for todays families.  Start off a visit by taking a horse drawn carriage ride from the island's ferry docks to the front door of the Grand Hotel.

Evenings at the hotel take you back to a time in history when people "dressed" for dinner.  After 6:30 p.m. in the dining room and main areas of the hotel gentlemen are required to wear a coat, tie, and dress slacks while ladies must be in a dress, skirt or pantsuit. No jeans, t-shirts or shorts allowed!  Boys under twelve aren't expected to wear a coat and tie but still need to be dressed "respectable" and of course little girls always look cute in a dress.

During the day lose track of time relaxing in a rocking chair on the grand porch that overlooks the Strait of Mackinac. There are lots of activities to do too! We've had some incredible times swimming in the Ester Williams pool and flying kites on the great lawn in front of the hotel.  In fact Travel + Leisure Family magazine named Grand Hotel as one of the 10 kid-friendliest resorts in the U.S. and Canada and ranked it among the 50 best family-friendly resorts in North America.  In addition to fun activities, the fact that children nine years old and younger stay and eat for FREE make the Grand Hotel a great stay for summer family getaways. CLICK HERE for a Grand Hotel virtual tour.

Other memorable occasions from summer visits include taking rides around the island on bicycles built for two, nature trail hikes, horse back riding excursions and watching the canons be fired at Fort Mackinac.  A trip to Mackinac Island can be as relaxing or energetic as you want it to be!  It is especially a nice spot for participating in a running event and the island hosts a number of them throughout the year.  Visit for more information about having an entertaining exercise themed vacation. The Great Turtle Trail Run is on my list of running events that I want to participate in sometime which haven't gotten around to doing just yet.

Experience Mackinac Island without leaving your home by enjoying Grand Hotel Summer Celebration from Hudsonville Ice Cream.  You might also want to try out Hudsonville's Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream as well.  Because frankly, who doesn't love fudge?!  For more information about, Grand Hotel Summer Celebration, Mackinac Island Fudge and other ice cream flavors from Hudsonville, visit

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